The City Council has told the Mt. Pleasant Historic Preservation Commission that the city doesn't have the $50,000 that would be needed this year to qualify for a $200,000 enhancement grant.
The $250,000 would be used to restore the Denver & Rio Grande Western depot the railroad gave to the city when it ceased operation of its Marysvale Spur, said Penny Hamilton, commission chairwoman.She said restoration plans include transforming the 100-year-old building into a multiple-use facility including an outdoor theater, a tourist information center, an art gallery and a roadside rest stop.
When the Marysvale Spur was closed down about 30 years ago, the city moved the depot from its beside-the-tracks site on the west side of town to a location on the south side of town inside a park and adjacent to U-89.
Although the City Council said it could not put up the $50,000 in match money this year, it said it favored the project and invited the commission to try again.
The depot in its heyday was a focal point not only for Mt. Pleasant but for six other northern Sanpete Valley towns. It not only brought the area the daily mail, manufactured goods and the traveling salesmen, but it served as a departure point for the market-bound cattle, sheep and farm crops that the area produced.
Because of the role it played in both the cultural and economic life of the area, the depot helped Mt. Pleasant gain its nickname as the Hub City, Hamilton said.
The $200,000 in grant money is still available under a federal program that provides funds for transportation enhancements, including historical preservation activities.
The Historic Preservation Commission said it knows it can't bring back the steam engines with their whistles and their bells, but it can establish a memorial to the area's railroad era. The depot is one of the few relics left from that period.